Any manufacturer can sign up to make a smartphone or tablet, but it takes very special skills to put together a processor. This is why the mobile industry has dozens of phone makers, but very few SoC builders. The main ones are Qualcomm, NVIDIA and Samsung, but a new enemy is starting to rise – MediaTek.
So what’s up with this MediaTek? We know many of you haven’t even heard the word utter out of someone’s mouth. MediaTek is the main processor manufacturer in China, a land where technology can break boundaries and gadgets can be had for stunning prices.
In similar fashion, MediaTek processors are known for being affordable and low-powered, a perfect fit for entry-level devices or products which don’t need too much power (TVs, for example). The company has been focusing on building its mobile influence and they certainly have, but only for the low and mid-end market.
We must be honest and say MediaTek doesn’t have much to offer to anyone looking for some serious performance. Manufacturers opt for these chips because they are cheap… that’s it. Price is MediaTek’s ultimate weapon, but this is something that could be changing very soon.
MediaTek lived in the middle ages for some time, and one can argue they are still trying to get out of this dark age as they move up the ladder. Their endeavors have taken MediaTek to places we never thought the chip maker would see.
Not only are they they go-to option for making affordable smartphones, but they are now a main player in premium devices like Android TV sets and set-top boxes. Namely, MediaTek has managed to make its way into Sony’s 2015 Android TV line-up, an accomplishment that really speaks for itself. Sony is certainly no small player.
If we are to compare MediaTek to the Renaissance, we must say this week’s HTC One M9+ announcement is like the birth of Brunelleschi, known to be the first artist of this era. The HTC One M9+ represents an important accomplishment to MediaTek, as it’s the first to use their processors and sell for over $700 USD.
We were actually a bit dumbfounded during our hands-on time with it. We call it a mid-end phone with high-end aspirations. Or is it a high-end phone with a mid-end soul? It’s hard to tell, because it has amazing specs and a gorgeous design, yet sports a MediaTek Helio X10 processor. Benchmarks proved the processor performs relatively well, too, leaving it at the same level as devices like the One M8 and Galaxy S5.
Its performance may not be up to par with the latest flagships, but this can be seen as a stepping stone for a company like MediaTek. It’s their entrance to the high-end mobile market, and things can only get better from now. Especially considering they are pushing efforts to make better processors like the MediaTek Helio X20, which was announced just some days ago.
A future where MediaTek is king of processors?
You have probably heard that the world of tech will revolve around Asia in the future. They are revolutionizing the market and continue to grow, but they are doing it in a very smart way. They are sneaking up on the industry.
A time will come when Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi and OnePlus will be seen as the true pioneers of affordable high-end smartphones. When that day comes, I can bet MediaTek will also have grown to be a leader in its class. Can we compare it to monsters like Qualcomm, NVIDIA and Samsung? Not yet, but I am almost sure that day is coming.
At the very least, they should soon control the affordable market. Maybe we can jump into the big dollar signs later on. Right, MediaTek?